Going Places

ch 9 going places jan 30 2019

Going Places

Being Thalia

Chapter 9

By avenger-nerd-mom & devikafernando

AU Fan Fiction

In the sequel to Educating Thalia, the lovely Thalia Bareo is trying to grow up, making her own way in the world after losing both men she loved, Professors Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. The sassy full-figured Puerto Rican girl from Chicago holds down a job as she tries to deal with the real world. She continues her studies and freelances as a consultant for museums around the world. Being Thalia updates are posted on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Warning: As a whole, this work contains adult content. If you proceed you have agreed that you are willing to see such content. Each chapter will not be coded with individual warnings. The overall story contains no hidden triggers.

If you are new to the series and characters, click here to the beginning of Educating Thalia.

If you are looking for other stories in the sequel, click here for the beginning of Being Thalia

Summary: With love on her side, Thalia faces another big change in her life.

Previous Chapter, Getaway

Word count 857

2020, September

The now tattered yellow envelope rests in her lap, symbolizing she’s finally grown up. Accustomed to the cabin pressure, oceanic flights no longer are the stress they once were, and Thalia realizes as she drifts to sleep, she’s a nomad again, this time with no one to fall back on for comfort. But she couldn’t say no to Madrid. Her thoughts drift back to the moment that would change her whole life and the man who supported her somewhat scary decision.

***

Chris beams with pride. “Sweetheart, why are you so nervous to ask me this? I’ve seen that envelope on your office shelf. You’ve been sitting on this job offer for months, haven’t you? That’s crazy. You know I can’t keep you from going, anymore than I can ask you to stay here.”

Thalia squirms down in his lap better, to rest her head on his shoulder. She can’t look him in the eye. Can’t bear to watch his face. His beautiful, stupid face. “Part of me wants you to do just that,” she chuckles softly. The envelope falls from her lap, landing on the floor. “Part of me has always wanted you to do that. Lay claim to me.”

“Oh, Thalia,” he sighs, kissing the top of her head. “You know I love you, always have, always will, but I know now I can’t keep you. You’re a wild creature, not meant to be tamed. I can’t uproot Avery from her school, and move her away from her mother and step-dad. And she can’t grow up without me nearby. My life is here, and let’s be honest, yours isn’t.” He pushes her off his lap, twisting her so he can look down into her big brown eyes. “You don’t think I saw the panic on your face a few weeks ago, while we waited to see if there were one or two lines on that stick?” He blows out a puff of air. “We would have loved that baby, but that’s not who you are… You’re so good with Avery, and her friends, but babies?” He chuckles softly. “You’ve always had dreams, and they never really included me.”

He holds his finger up to her mouth when she starts to protest. “Thalia, I’ve held you back too long. It’s time I’m the bigger person, to follow your dad’s advice.” His eyes fill with tears. “I can’t keep you locked up here; I know you have to go. Madrid is the opportunity of a lifetime. You’d grow to hate me, resent Avery, if you turned it down. You have to go.

That night, they’d made love with wild abandon, a goodbye of sorts.

But over the weeks, as she packed her remaining belongings, when she’d wake in the morning, the bed would be empty. Chris would be gone on his morning run.

Even though she never runs, why does she always feel like she’s running away?

***

Eight months later, the messy desk looks the same, although many notes are scribbled in Spanish and the view is different. The trusty tennis ball rolls to the floor when she bumps her hip against the desk. Bending to retrieve it, she straightens quickly when a rugged voice startles her. “Ah, Señorita Bareo. Maybe one of the most lovely figures we have on display here at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.”

Smoothing down her skirt, she smiles kindly at the gentleman standing in the doorway. “Antonio. I thought you left at two for siesta. Why are you still here?”

“I thought I should live more americano if I’m going to keep up with you, or I could at least convince you to go with me for a drink?”

The itinerary for her trip to London stares up at her from her desk. She runs her hands over the type.

“Señorita?” he asks again, pointing to the door.

“Can we discuss the presentation for the conference?” she asks her colleague, tossing her datebook and notes in her leather bag.

The handsome gentleman loosens his tie. “I was hoping for something a bit more personal,” he chuckles. “But if you’ll leave this office on the pretense of work, then yes. We can talk work.”

Her mantra repeats in her brain. New life. New adventures. Move on. New life. New adventures. Move on…

***

Searching for her shoes in his dark apartment the next morning, her mantra and hangover make her want to throw up. How can a former barmaid not be able to handle her liquor in this damn foreign place?

She collapses on his couch, pulling the heels onto her tired feet. Antonio’s dog hops up on the couch next to her. “¿Qué carajos estoy haciendo aquí?” she whispers to the dog, nuzzling into his neck. “What the fuck am I doing here?” she repeats. Do dogs understand universal languages? She shakes her head, buckling the strap around her ankle.

Está temprano, come back to bed, mi dama,” Antonio announces, standing in the doorway in his boxers, rubbing his hands over his chest.

She shakes her head no, rising to stand. “No, Antonio. I’m not your lady. I think I’ve made a big mistake.”

Click here to read Chapter 10, Running in Circles

Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom and devikafernando. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

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